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Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

Where do taxes go?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A graphic detail of how taxes are distributed in Clay County. Note: Percentages are approximate as they are rounded off.
* A detailed look at how county taxes are distributed

As residents prepare to pay their property tax bills, the question of where it goes is raised.

The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) recently sent Clay County its Certified Budget Order, which includes how the tax levy is split up.

The distribution is a bit more lopsided than the state average.

On average, 54 percent of the property tax levy goes toward the schools, while the amount is 72.09 percent in Clay County for 2008.

Of the more than $21.4 million in anticipated property tax revenue, $14,290,472 is set to go to the Clay Community School Corporation and another $1,149,709 will go to the M.S.D. Shakamak School Corporation. Last year, the total amount between the two corporations was $14,425,131.

As a whole, the total levy increased by slightly more than $1.3 million, but nearly 78 percent of the increase ($1,015,050) will be going to the schools. Overall, the school's portion of the levy increased from the 71.7 percent distributed in 2007.

The county, on the other hand only saw an increase of $42,261, or 1.34 percent from 2007, giving them a levy of $3,202,192 for this year.

This is the second largest levy amount, but still nearly five times less than what the schools receive.

The largest increase, by percentage, is in Posey Township where the levy went from $45,726 last year to $66,451.

Due in part to a large increase in Township Assistance funding from a levy appeal, Posey's amount went up 45.32 percent.

All but one of the taxing units saw their levy increase this year. Harrison Township is the lone exception as their amount decreased 1.83 percent from $40,945 to $40,197.

The Brazil Public Library unit saw the largest percentage increase of the six groupings -- State, County, City/Town, Township, Library and Schools -- at 14.4 percent from $303,967 last year to $347,683 (1.62 percent of the overall property tax levy).

In comparison, the total levy for all of the townships combined is $408,861, or 1.68 percent of the total levy for all of the taxing units.

Amidst its financial complications, the levy for Brazil City went up from $1,563,122 to 1,700,531, for an increase of 8.79 percent and 7.94 percent of the entire levy.

Only five of the 24 taxing units are set to receive a property tax levy of more than $300,000:

* Clay Community School Corporation -- $14,290,472,

* Clay County -- $3,202,192,

* Brazil City -- $1,700,531,

* M.S.D. Shakamak School Corporation -- $1,149,709, and

* Brazil Public Library -- $347,683.

Two townships, Washington ($9,092) and Cass ($2,801), are the only taxing units whose levy is less than $10,000 for the 2007 pay 2008 property tax year.

To view the entire budget order for Clay County and DLGF analysis, visit www.in.gov/dlgf/2612.htm.

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Does anybody have any idea why our school gets more than 18% more of the tax draw than the average county (72.09% Clay/ 54% State average) ? I'm not saying that there isn't a good reason, I just don't know what it is.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 2:29 AM

I want to know why the library gets so much and was closed for so long

-- Posted by madmom61 on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 7:46 AM

I live in Brazil Township, I thought we were the only one's paying taxes on the Library, if we are not I wanna know where all the taxes the county residents pay on the Library is going.

-- Posted by packerfan01 on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 11:21 AM

I would like to see a breakdown of all the expenditures for the schools. How much is going to administrations, sports, education.

Where can we cut down?

There is one more thing. When students are educated in Brazil, they leave to be educated out of state or instate, but leave our town. Why? Due to lack of jobs.

I am proud of our kids, but I think the tax money needs to be fairly distributed to benefit everyone. In order to have a city where business will reside, we need better infrastructure. We need good leadership in areas of water supply, sewage, roads. Then start putting money into education. Does that make sense?

The Library is paid for by ALL citizens and all of Clay county should have free public access to books. Sorry but out of city fee's are unfair. We pay taxes just like city folks without much to show for it. I think they call that taxation without representation.

-- Posted by Pearl2083 on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 11:28 AM

Yes it is. I think our founding leaders left a country over this very thing.

Who is accountable for this???

-- Posted by madmom61 on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 12:16 PM

I find it odd that property taxes from THE COUNTY are financing the BRAZIL public library. If residents of the county are paying for it why do the library officials demand that we pay even more just to check out a book? The library official lead me to believe that its the *BRAZIL* public library in that its only for Brazil residents and only financed by them. Even when I owned a business in town they made me pay $25 a year to check out books. Has something changed or is this another fleecing operation for non-Brazil residents?

-- Posted by TheRider on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 3:07 PM

Ah, politics at its finest.

-- Posted by andypflueger on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 7:31 PM

Brazil City & Brazil township are part of the county, there for their taxes are being shown on the above graph and in the above statistics. What Mr. Jacob's article doesn't tell is that While they are part of the county, they are the ONLY areas of the county that pay a library tax. The rest of the county? Cass? Washington? Posey? Perry? Van Buren? Sugar Ridge? Harrison? DON'T. All you people have to do... is LOOK. It's not that hard. Call the accessors office. They can tell you. Often times, they'll even give you a print out of your taxes. If You have give valid proof that you pay that tax? then YOU are eligible to use the library. Just provide the proof. Nuff Said.

-- Posted by mhicks on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 10:08 PM

I find it odd that property taxes from THE COUNTY are financing the BRAZIL public library. If residents of the county are paying for it why do the library officials demand that we pay even more just to check out a book? The library official lead me to believe that its the *BRAZIL* public library in that its only for Brazil residents and only financed by them. Even when I owned a business in town they made me pay $25 a year to check out books. Has something changed or is this another fleecing operation for non-Brazil residents?

-- Posted by TheRider on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 6:40 AM

My apologies for not being well versed in the fleecing of the people.

-- Posted by TheRider on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 6:53 AM

Bigpappy... no comments????

-- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 7:55 AM

Some of you know me by my "handle" on here as FlyinLion. My name is Leo Southworth. I will try to answer some of the questions.

First of all, the county's 2007 (actual) & 2008 (projected) budget is on-line at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/2612.htm . It is somewhat difficult to find if you do not know where to look.

According to the tax levies printed last fall, Brazil City Township is the only property taxed to support the Brazil Public Library as I recall. That can be checked at the Court House with, I believe, the Assessor.

As to why the Clay Community Schools Corporation gets more of the taxes, according to the corporation, they need te money. We have one of the lowest assessed values in the state, coupled with one of the lowest tax rates.

As to the school corporation's spending and justification of spending, I have been trying to get some answers out of the corporation since about Nov. Basically, the corporation spends money as they see fit and the attitude as to why they spend money is because they can.

I am at odds with the corporation's official stance on a rebuilding project as I do not see it as cost-effective or that it will improve academics or the corporation as much as it could.

You can read more on that subject on the blog "views From the Lion's Lair" on the Brazil times website.

I can be contacted directly at leosouthworth@gmail.com and I'm in the phonebook.

-- Posted by FlyinLion on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 8:36 AM

I've been collecting my thoughts about this library discussion, but before I could get the thoughts into words, I see that "mhicks" made my point, and probably much better than I. When I resided outside the city limits of Brazil, I was aware that if I wanted a library card then I would have to purchase one. Now that I live in the city, it is clearly stated on my property tax statement how much I'm being assessed for library services. Since Brazil City and Brazil Township ARE a part of Clay County, it makes sense as to why a part of the Clay County tax draw would go to the library.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 8:40 AM

But if county people are helping to pay the burden for the library, then they should get a card without cost.

I work with a county commisioner, I am going to ask him to explain this to me!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 9:29 AM

I still want to know why the library gets so much money, was closed for an extended period of time, and treats the public so rudely!!!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 10:35 AM

The county people who are helping pay the burden of the library via taxes DO get a free library card. Those are the people in the county paying those taxes per stated on their tax statement....the people living in Brazil Township of Clay County.

As far as the library personnel being so rude..I wouldn't know since I can't tell you the last time I went to the public library.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 1:26 PM

FlyinLion, of course the corporation will say they need the money because they don't want to lose funding.

Seeing the disparity in how much the schools get compared to the county, city and townships disgusts me. With as bad as the roads are, especially after the flood, the county and city should have a larger share so they can actually afford to fix them. Also, local police and deputies need to be paid more for putting themselves in harms way all the time.

Is it really acceptable that one single group gets more than twice as much as evertyhing else in the county? Definately not!!!

Also there was nothing in the story about the rebuilding project and it seems a bit shameful to bring it up on topics that have nothing to do with it.

Do the schools need money, Yes. But the other portions of the county deserve much more than they get first.

-- Posted by axegrinder1313 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 4:10 PM

Just to make something clear. I have found the library personell very pleasant and helpful. They have always been kind. Im just clarifying that I dont have a problem with those who work there. In other states, the state government picks up the bill for a free library frill for the people. If you are from out of state, its a 25.00 fee for the year in total for you.

We out of city folks pay 20.00 every three months.

This was up for a suggestion two years ago, but no one in the outskirts was interested in additional taxes. Some do not like to go to the library or no interest generated.

-- Posted by Pearl2083 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 8:10 PM


The library was not closed, the new Building was closed. Remember only that building was closed, call it my gut instinct. But the fact that it was opened shorty after the contractor was being chased down in the parking lot by a local TV station camera crew, while uttering the words "no comment" tells me something. And now you say the library board is saying nothing about it? That seems to me like there was something in court or he got threatened with court.

Think about it, and you can read between the lines just as well as I can.

And as far as everyone complaining that the county is paying for a city library, stop for a second. This report says nothing about what PARTS of the county are paying for what. If the township is paying for the library, then that means part of the county is paying for it. So of course they have to show it on the report for the entire county.

And the comment made by someone about no representation, get a grip. If you put it to your elected officials they will talk to you. Do you really think they don't want votes come next election?

-- Posted by thinks on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 9:46 PM

So, you are telling me that I could go browse through books and magazines during the time that the doors were closed? I was not aware of that. I don't always know what book I want to get... I like to browse. I was of the understanding that you had to tell them what book you wanted and they would get it for you. Where were all the books housed during this renovation?

I understand that the contractor was crooked. He is a big looser. I still wonder how he was picked to do this job! Is he paying fines for his shotty work???

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 10:35 AM


Yep, you could go across the street to the annex and that little building behind it. They didn't have everything there, but from what it looked awful dang close. They even had the DVDs out if I remember right.

Some things you did have to ask for if they didn't have it out. Only because they didn't have room, it was two small buildings to one big one.

As far as the contractor, I think it was one of those things were everyone only tells you the trouble they had with the person "after" you get stung by them.

-- Posted by thinks on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 9:38 PM

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